Interactions in online courses can be misinterpreted easily due to the lack of visual and auditory cues. Students and faculty can benefit by having clear expectations defined at the beginning of class for appropriate conduct. For content in the course this is typically covered in Netiquette guidelines.
Two documents here provide examples of current netiquette guidelines in use at Ferris. Faculty can use or adapt these (or create something new!) for use in online classes.
FerrisConnetiquette - developed from a team of faculty and instructional support personnel for EMAT.
DCCL Netiquette - developed by faculty in the Doctorate in Community College Leadership.
At times, instructors may experience hostile or bullying students in their online classroom. The policy for disruptive students at Ferris also can be used in cases where the course is online. A generic form of this policy is here: Disruptive Behavior
EIO will work with Ferris faculty to proctor exams for fully online classes when possible and necessary. Proctoring of exams is not available at all Ferris locations or dates, and no out of state locations have been created to date. Advance planning is necessary! Some non-Ferris proctors may also be available, and there may be fees associated with the use of these agencies. These fees are the responsibility of the student and must be paid directly to the proctoring agency.
If you require a proctored test, you should 1) ensure this is indicated in the class section description so that students registering know of this requirement ahead of the class start date; 2) contact EIO as soon as you know where your students are located to determine proctoring feasibility; 3) ensure the proctoring locations know all the instructions necessary; 4) ensure students know they must schedule a proctoring time prior to the test due date, and must bring a picture id to the exam.
A list of current locations/contacts and additional information is provided in this document: Test Proctoring for Ferris Courses.
An alternative to on-site proctoring is having a recorded online test session. By using Respondus Monitor, a faculty member can require students to show their student ID and have their online test session recorded, all via webcam. This allows the student to still complete their test online at home, but gives the instructor flexibility to review the recording to ensure the student followed any testing directions. If you are interested in hearing more about Respondus Monitor contact the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
In response to a survey of Ferris online faculty, an online readiness orientation was created. Students must complete that orientation prior to their first online course, to better prepare them for the technical components of their online class (use of discussion boards, uploading assignments, etc). Faculty and Departments have the right to determine which courses require that orientation, and which courses do not require the orientation. The Senate approved policy can be found here: Policy for Student Readiness for Online Learning
Additional information on how the Online Readiness Orientation works can be found here: Online Readiness Information for Staff
Online courses at Ferris are in high demand. Many course sections fill within the first week that registration opens up. As a result, to allow students to submit their name on a wait list for full sections, we have implemented a process for waitlisting students which is integrated with Banner. You can find out more information about the process, as well as instruction sheets under ferris.edu/online/waitlist/index.htm
Ferris must first seek approval to offer education to another state's residents prior to admitting students from that state into online programs. In some cases this approval is readily given, and in other cases Ferris must provide not only significant fees but also complete a robust application. For more information on how state authorizations impact Ferris and our online programs, check out this link: State Authorization Information for Faculty and Staff
If you are interested in online program restrictions for a specific state, you can also check this website: State Authorizations
There are also Academic Affairs Policy Letters regarding state regulation compliance: Compliance with State Regulations and Faculty Residency Requirement
Of key importance to online learning is ensuring that the student participating in an online class is indeed the student who we have on record as earning the credit for the course. In addition to the current policy for authenticating student identity, the eLearning Management Team continues to monitor technological advances that may be of benefit to our long range solutions. Respondus Monitor was implemented in 2015 as one method for re-verifying student identification at the point in time an online test would be conducted. As tools become more sophisticated and prices become more competitive for these products, Ferris will expand our abilities to verify student identity. The current policy can be found here: Authentication of Student Identity
With the plethora of technology solutions for online learning, it became necessary for Ferris to provide guidance to faculty regarding the use of a singular learning management system. One system provides for appropriate Information Technology support and a more clear structure for our online students. The policy for the approval of online courses, the designations in Banner, and the terminology in use at Ferris for the various formats of mixed delivery or online courses can be found here: Internet Course Listings